[DEC 22ND, 2023]



too tired to expound. you get it, yeah?

Well as you can tell from the title, I'm burnt out. A burnout I've genuinely never felt before. This article won't be so easily wrapped up in a bow like my other ones are, it may be raw or off-putting, maybe incomprehensible, who knows. I'm starting writing this on Sept 9th, maybe I'll never finish this, maybe I'll finish this when my burnout is over, maybe I'll just never post this at all. But I'm getting my feelings out. And that's all that matters.

Anyway. To start off, I'm a perfectionist. I've known this all my life, but only realized there was a term for it maybe the past 2-3 years. When I was about 12, I assumed I had OCD. I could relate to having intrusive thoughts at times, a few other symptoms here and there, but it never 100% fit.. 10+ years later I found out about OCPD, which is obsessive compulsive PERSONALITY disorder. And something clicked for me. Let me show you the symptoms.

I haven't read a list of OCPD traits yet that I didn't relate to. I am like this to a T. Realizing I was like this did help a lot! For example, 3+ years ago, it was hard for me to spend over $5 on myself for just about any given thing. If I needed it or not, I'd rather just go without. I'd ignore and ignore and ignore until I had no choice but to buy the new thing, and even then, 90% of the time I wouldn't. Now, I can buy myself like $5 treats every so often without feeling terrible.

It was freeing to know what exactly I had... however, every new day made me realize how much the personality disorder is in my PERSONALITY. It affects EVERYTHING! Work life balance, social relationships, everything, everything! How do you maintain friendships and social relationships if you're always working? Will people wanna be around you if you don't know how to share or be flexible and not so uptight? When you're cheap as fuck and don't know how to give? What happens when your body is sick of working on art or otherwise, and you're ignoring all the symptoms in favor of more work to feel productive?

Well, you get me, I think.

ArtFight 2023 exacerbated my art block, but I know I had to have been running on empty for a while now. I had my hands in so many different pots this year, trying to try new things just to not be alone with this deep pit of inadequacy making itself at home in my chest. I only feel worth when I'm productive, or at least when I have busy work. So, I made a zine. I made Youtube vids. I animated. I made a 3D model. I made a visual novel. I updated my site. I drew and created and made and produced and sacrificed until I had nothing left, just to impress, to prove to the world I was worth anything.

Do you know what it's like to have your mother comment, "Are you alright? You don't really smile anymore."

Now it's so hard to sit at my desk and do any of those things. Painful, even. I feel dissociated from the one thing I considered my identity. It's so hard to see all my peers making progress on their art, while I am in the background not able to work on mine. I can't do the thing I love, sharing my stories with others. To draw! I feel incomplete. I feel jealous. Mad, angry, sad! I'm depressed, I'm upset.

But most of all, I am empty.

I always told myself you can't pour from an empty pot. But all this time I was overwatering one singular plant damn near waterless. I didn't see the signs of failure because of my perfectionism. If I don't have anything to do, I'll find something. Why rest when I can work? Well.. look at me now.

But I'm trying, dammit! I'm trying to make better habits for myself! I'm keeping accountable where I can!

These next few sentences will be so hard to say, believe it or not. I have never said them aloud. (But it's a part of healing and keeping accountable...)

I am good at things.

I work hard, I like to express myself. I'm unique and silly and delightful. I didn't think making fanart would get me 10k+ followers, but it did. I didn't expect 400+ followers on neocities, but I got them. I didn't know I'd ever get 60k+ views on a video, on my first one no less, and 2k+ subscribers from it… but I did that, too. I always think of these as flukes, any sort of success is a fluke for me. But no, I am capable. And yet, my brain chases after love and recognition through works and achievements, but also does not recognize any of them.

Doesn't that just sound tiring?

It's now December 21st, and nothing's changed.

My art folder for the month has no art in it. I'm still tired. Sitting in front of Clip Studio produces nothing. I'm still empty.

But I've finally decided.. my 2024 won't have to be that way.

I’m no longer ignoring what my body has been begging for for years.

I'm putting my tablet pen down.

And I'm picking myself up.

I'm gonna exercise, to gain not only physical strength but mental strength as well. I'm gonna find new ways to create, that doesn't revolve around digital art. I'm gonna go outside and fail and get back up again instead of always keeping myself to the familiar. I'm gonna try to deepen more of my social relationships, to keep myself from picking up extra work and have more time for play. I'm gonna treat myself more often, smile more too. I'm gonna get back to Me. I'm gonna give myself grace.

And most of all, I'm going to rest.

I deserve these things.

What does that mean for my projects? I won't just abandon all the things I enjoy, I'm still a person with hobbies. But they will be here when I'm back from working on the best project I could ever work on: myself

It's long overdue.